AUSXIP Spartacus News


        21 February 2010

Spartacus Mention Chicago Tribune 19 Feb 2010

ImageWhat to do if you're not in the mood to watch the Olympics? Below are a few programs you may want to check out if you aren't obsessed by the doings in Vancouver.

Actually, regardless of the Olympics, these are just a few overlooked gems (and one revitalized veteran) you may find entertaining:

4. "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," 9 p.m. Central Fridays, Starz: When I tell people who've seen the "Spartacus" pilot that I'm enjoying this Starz gladiator drama, they look at me as if I might be insane. But I contend that people who bailed after the pilot are missing out on a pretty enjoyable swords-and-sandals melodrama, one that is not nearly as derivative and clunky as the show's first couple of episodes. Yes, it's violent, sex-drenched and looks a lot like a budget version of "300," but "Spartacus" is also a sexy, canny soap about the travails of Batiatus (the wonderful John Hannah), the desperate but cunning owner of the gladiator school, and his scheming wife, Lucretia (the always enjoyable Lucy Lawless).

Spartydown It may all be an escapist romp about naughty Romans and fierce warriors, but it's an increasingly well-written and assured romp. My favorite character may actually be the fearsome Doctore (Peter Mensah), the head instructor of the gladiator school, but star Andy Whitfield is doing a credible job as the title character, who has a quiet nobility, not just rippling abs.